To paint or to paper? That is the question

You’ve made the decision that you are going to decorate but now what? Do you get your paintbrush at the ready or find the wallpaper paste?

While there is no definitive answer to the question as both have lots of pros and cons, both can provide great results if completed with care and good preparation. The answer really is a personal one and should be made on your personal requirements and taste.

Here provide a few thought-provoking ideas to help you consider how to go ahead with your decision to decorate.

Whether you have just had a brand new extension, conservatory or new windows and doors fitted your decision to decorate is a good one. We all benefit from a change in our surroundings no matter how big or small the task you take on. Having a living space that is welcoming, relaxing and reflects personal taste is good for mood and wellbeing.

So where do you begin?

Well, firstly you may have strong ideas about paint versus paper. You may know instantly that taking on the task of wallpapering is far too large a job for you or that you don’t have the equipment easily to hand, but on the other hand, you may have the perfect roll of paper in mind and know instantly the look you require for your room.

Whichever route you decide to take it is all about planning and preparing first.


Think about the room to be decorated…is it a family room, dining space, playroom or bathroom? Is the space small or large?

Thinking about the room may provide the answers to the paint or paper question as paint and paper can both change the dynamics of a room in very different ways. A large space can feel even airier and open if paired with walls painted in light colours.

While a large room can also be made to feel more cosy by adding darker shades of paint or an elaborately printed wallpaper in darker tones. A small space can be opened up by using light shades of paint or a light reflective design on a wallpaper. Remember wallpapering all four walls of a small room will close the space down making it feel even smaller so depending on the size of the room a mix of paper and paint may be the best option.

Paint is generally cheaper than paper but paper lasts longer so the cost actually evens out over time. With so many options when it comes to painting surfaces and paint properties it really is important to think about the space being decorated. Paint is an excellent choice in a bathroom, kitchen or children’s playroom as many paints designed for children’s spaces are wipeable, as are kitchen and bathroom paints. Kitchen and bathroom paints are also made up of components designed to withstand mould and mildew build up as well as being resilient to staining.


For the best results no matter what you choose good preparation of the room is vital for the best end results.

Firstly empty the space and take down any window dressings. This will allow the space to be seen bare and give you a real impression of the size and shape of the room. Then remove any old wallpaper or wash down the walls with sugar soap to remove dirt, grease and grime. Next create a smooth surface all round by filling in any scuffs or holes left over from picture frames or shelves. Use a product designed for the specific job and always follow the guidelines.

If you have any reservations still about the colour or paper you have chosen put some test samples on the wall and cover an area at least the size of an A3 piece of paper. Look at the area in different lights and place other objects such as a favourite cushion, plant or lamp nearby. This will help you to visualise the room in a more finalised way.

Remember there are so many choices of paper out there and with a range of prices to match. From Luxury high-end designer rolls to papers with elaborate ornate patterns, then bold contemporary prints, illusion papers that react with different lighting, textured papers that add depth and also designs that look good enough to eat! Finding a paper that is right for your room is bound to be a fun experience.

The world of paint is also just as exciting as the world of papers, with so many paint finishes, colour combinations and paint techniques it will be tough deciding on your favourite. Latest trends such as ombre walls and metallic finishes really could create a striking atmosphere to be enjoyed.

Once you are sure, get stuck in and enjoy the experience of creating your new look space.

Categories: Decorating Tips, Home Improvement